2017/18 Writer Predictions Part 3

by • August 11, 2017 • UncategorizedComments Off on 2017/18 Writer Predictions Part 3664

We’ve saved the best until last (probably) for you and round off the writer predictions here for you.  Many thanks to the lads for giving us their very accurate and very serious predictions for the season ahead.

 Where will NUFC finish this season and why?
Bottom third of the league. Im not convinced we’ll stay up. What concerns me is the lack of experienced know how….contrast with 10/11 and 93/94 the last times we got promoted.
Are you happy with NUFC’s Summer business?
See above. The prices being paid for abs stock average players is eye opening. Its a bit like running up a down escalator.
Which team are you looking forward to welcoming most to SJP and why?
Im being a proper grumpy bastard but the majority of PL clubs are dull as fuck. I enjoyed the visits from Wolves and Derby who bring better support than most PL clubs.
Which team are you looking forward to visiting away from home and why?
For me it’ll be the London matches im most likely to try and find a ticket for. Spurs and Arsenal though I like Palace away.
Which player will be crucial for us this season?
Some folk remain undecided at PL level but Ritchie could make a crucial difference. Great work ethic, good technique, good passer and crosser and his goals could add a critical 10 notches, say….in a similar vein to Nolan, if in a different style.
Will Rafa Benitez be here at the end of the season?
I think either Benitez will walk or Ashley will sell eventually. Nothing fills me with much confidence as to Benitez’s trust in Ashley to deliver not just funds but bottom line control…which is what I think Rafa craves most of all.
Champions?
I have no idea. Not Spurs, who I think have a poor record in matches played at Wembley?
Relegated?
Huddersfield (sadly), Burnley and the Betjemenesque club of choice, Watford (I hope).
Which player can you see failing to perform this season?
I have a big ? mark on Shelvey’s ability to perform in the PL consistently for what we need. For all his effort Dummett isnt good enough in the 1st tier as a FB and will in all likelihood be a liability there again in the PL.
Guy Hannah Wilson 

Where will NUFC finish this season and why?

If we haven’t got the league wrapped up by Pancake Tuesday then Rafa should be hung dangling from the top of level seven by his humongous Spanish testicles. The squad has several deficiencies but I think that we’ll finish around 12th mainly thanks to our tactically-astute manager.

Are you happy with NUFC’s Summer business?

There are still a few weeks to go but I’m not as Rafa is clearly not happy that we missed out on numerous of his prime targets. We currently have a net spend of £15m which wouldn’t buy you one of Neymar’s pubes in the current climate. Our owner seems to be once again gambling by penny-pinching which is madnesswhen you factor in the huge loss of revenue that relegation causes. However, I’ve seen four of our pre-season matches and all five new recruits have shown promise. I think Merino and Murphy will turn out to be superb signings. Hopefully we can bring a few more in before that annoying buffoon in his daft yellow tie screams “IT IS NOW SHUT”.

Which team are you looking forward to welcoming most to SJP and why?

Man Utd.

We have an unbelievable home record against Mourinho (is there a better one in England?) and the pre-match waffle between the managers should be spicy due to the fact that they aren’t overly-friendly. There has also been an edge between our fans and theirs since the mid 90’s so the manager’s mutual hatred for each other should certainly crank that up.

Which team are you looking forward to visiting away from home and why?

I’m choosing this based on the venue and I was going to saySpurs but we will have already visited Wembley to secure trophy number one under Rafa by the time we play them so I’m going to go for West Ham and our first visit to their new free stadium. It’s also the fixture just before Christmas so it should be a cracking atmosphere.

Which player will be crucial for us this season?

You can flip a piece of toast between Shelvey and Gayle. We looked completely devoid and lost last season when either of them didn’t feature. If we don’t recruit another striker then I’d opt for Gayle. His record is one goal every 181 minutes in the Premier League but sadly his hamstrings seem to be made of tracing paper. Keeping these two fit (and to not say naughty words to opponents) will be vital for us.

Which player can you see failing to perform this season?

There are question marks over several in our squad so I’m not to single out just one individually. However, a spine of Lascelles – Colback – Mitro will worry me if it ever starts next season. Rafa is all about the team so hopefully he can get them playing wellas a unit which will help mask some of our blatantly obvious weakness areas.

Will Rafa Benitez be here at the end of the season?

He’ll be strutting around Wembley with the FA Cup so of course he will be here then……I sincerely hope that he is as I personally wouldn’t swap him for any manager in the world as he simply ‘gets us’ but with our lunatic of an owner then who knows. This window is crucial but January might even be more important and we all know how much a shambles that window was last season.

 

Who will win the league?

I can’t see past either of the Manc teams and I’m swaying towards Man Utd because I think that Guardiola still fears Mourinho after he tried to gouge his eyeball out on the sidelines during an El Classico.

Who is going down?

Huddersfield

Brighton

Burnley

Paully

Where will Newcastle finish this season and why?

I predict a lot of Rafa inspired 1-0 wins and a mid table / lower half finish and stability. Progress none the less. Based on what we have now then 11-15th is surely achievable?

If this happens, then how we use the money generated from being back in the top flight will be crucial for us to go to the next step in 2018-19.

Are you happy with NUFC’s summer business?

Let’s be honest, we’ve signed a lot of unknowns but it did Keegan’s 1993 promotion squad (bar Peter Beardsley) no harm did it?

The jury was out until i attended the talk in with Rafa at 9 bar last week. He stressed the limitations he has in recruiting players he wants (agent fees, family influence and wage demands as well as the frustration of the hierarchy having a clear budget per player) but spoke positively about the players who have come in clearly want to play for him and the club. How long have we felt like that about a squad of players? I’d be a lot happier if we sign a goalscoring striker with Premier League experience before the window ends though.

Which team are you looking forward to welcoming most to SJP and why?

Any team we have a realistic chance of beating! Then again, the atmosphere appears to drop by noticeable levels when we’re not the underdog. I always enjoy having the Red Scousers up around the city. An approachable set of supporters, relationships were built on the back of our supporters actions at Anfield in April 1994 on the 5th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. By the time we meet in November, those accountable should be nearer punishment. JFT96.

Which team are you looking forward to visiting away from home and why?

The day out at Huddersfield last season was brilliant so it’s a great place to kick off our away day travels with a good chance of picking up 3 points. We won only 1 of our first 6 away games in 1993-94 but recovered to gain 4 wins and 3 draws from the first 11 on the road. On ‘paper’ we have a chance of getting those 4 wins in our opening 5 games.

Which player will be crucial for us this season?

Paul Dummett. With Colback evidently becoming a bit part player, if our left back continues his progression he can possibly shut up the supporters who continue to ridicule him on Twitter and have a go at the match. They will of course turn to someone else to make their scapegoat. But Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie are crucial. Leaders, great on the ball and our playmakers, if both can get near 10 goals this season then we would have done well.

Which player can you see failing to perform this season?

I think there is too much hype around Rob Elliot. A good talker, he is perhaps ‘good’ at everything but ‘great’ at nothing. I’m not confident having him as our Number 1 and personally think Karl Darlow is the better option of the two despite appearing quiet and failing to recover quickly from mistakes. I hope I’m wrong.

Will Rafa Benitez be here at the end of the season?

Yes. He stated he wants to stay as long as he can and I believe him. Make no mistake, this job is suited to him on a personal level but if we continue to support him and the team and forgive any bad results next season, then maybe he can continue his ‘project’ into the next decade. Having said that, I don’t trust the owner and still worry we are one monumental f*ck up away from undoing all his good work.

Who will win the league?

No idea. The days of showing an interest in football that doesn’t involve Newcastle United are well gone. Any of the ‘top 6’ could do it, but it will probably be Man City. I can only recall Forest, Villa, Blackburn, Newcastle and Leicester as teams who challenged within a year or two of promotion so, although you can never say ‘never’, it won’t be us.

Who is going down?

sunderland to the 3rd tier for a 2nd time in their history. Hopefully. But in our league, you know, the top flight, Swansea, Watford and Huddersfield. It does feel strange not wanting the mackems or a Pardew/Allardyce side in our division to go down though!

Marc Corby @nufc_1980_1994

 

1: I think we will be fighting a relegation battle all year, gonna be close.

2: Not happy at all, I think we need about 4 proper premiership players.

3: Anyone we got 3 points off.

4: Spurs at Wembley hopefully.

5: Shelvey, I don’t think we have anyone else in the squad of real quality.

6: I think the majority of our team will look a little short of the required standard.

7: Touch wood yes, but danger always feels like it is just round the corner.

8: I don’t care who wins the leave to be honest.

9: Not sure, I feel a bit out of touch with the perm. As long as its not us I couldn’t give a shit…..3 southern teams hopefully!

Peter Willis @pedro_69_

Where will NUFC finish this season and why?

I’ll go 12-13th. Outside of the top 7 there’s a lot of shite in the league, and it really is just a rat race to finish 8th after that. Having Rafa Benitez in our corner is a huge plus. You put him against any of the managers from teams 8-20 and I’ll gladly take my chances with Benitez. In the same breath, if you offered me 17th now I’d rip your arm off.

Are you happy with NUFC’s Summer business?

Not really. We could and probably should have done more. Not even so much more, but at least do it earlier. It’s obvious we missed out on the fair share of our first targets (Abraham etc.) and after that it’s the best of what we can manage. Personnel wise I don’t actually think we’ve done too bad with Lejuene, Atsu and Murphy in particular, but we could definitely have done better. Selling players seems to be proving difficult, too.

Which team are you looking forward to welcoming the most to SJP and why?

I’m not a great fan of enjoying watching the opposition at SJP rather than get pissed and get behind the lads in black and white, but a team like Man City coming up to NE1 will be canny. They really have gone mental in the transfer market and I think Pep’s job will be on the line if he doesn’t manage to get the title to the Etihad.

Which team are you looking forward to visiting away from home and why?

Once again, it’s probably grounds more than teams, but going to Wembley will be brilliant. I always like going to Old Trafford too, and I reckon the Olympic Stadium will be canny despite being miles away from the pitch.

Which player will be crucial for us this season?

I’ll go two, and they’re the obvious ones. If Matt Ritchie performs this season, I don’t think we will even sniff relegation. He’s that important to us. If he played for one of the top 7 teams he’d be raved about every week on the mainstream programmes but obviously flew under the radar last year being in the Championship. Dwight Gayle’s fitness is huge, too. I think you’re looking at a 15-goal man if he’s kept fit, which once again could be the difference between mid-table safety and a battle with relegation.

Which player can you see failing to perform this season?

Jamaal Lascelles. He’s a canny kid and his hearts in the right place, and he’s got plenty of time on his side, but I’m still not 100% convinced with him at the heart of the defence. It wouldn’t surprise me if come October/November time Clark and Lejuene are our CB pairing.

Will Rafa Benitez be here at the end of the season?

Impossible to guess considering Mike Ashley runs the ship at NUFC, but I’ll go yes.

Who will win the league?

It’s got to be Manchester City.

Who is going down?

I think Brighton and Huddersfield are going to be in for a long struggle of a season this year. I’d be surprised if either of them stayed up. Watford could be in trouble although I rate that Marco Silva who they’ve got in as manager. Push comes to shove, I’ll go Swansea as the third team. Losing Sigurdsson will be a massive blow to them.

Chris Laws @tflawsy1892

Where will NUFC finish this season and why?

Between 10th and 13thThe reasons I believe this are that Southampton finished 8th last season on 46 points and Watford finished 17th on 40 points. That block in the middle to lower reaches of the table isn’t as strong as people seem to believe. Despite the fact other clubs have more money to spend on this they’re spending a lot of it on players who aren’t that much better than we already have (Arnautovicfor £24 million being an example). We have a manager who is better than any other in that particular group. We have a group of players who will graft and show grit. We will be alright.

Are you happy with NUFC’s summer business?

I’m happy with who we’ve brought in and I think Merino and Murphy are excellent acquisitions. I’d like to see us sign another centre-forward as back-up/competition for Gayle. I’d like to see the parasites shifted. I’d like to see cover/competition for Shelvey.

Which team are you looking forward to welcoming most to SJP and why?

Manchester United purely because Mourinho will be full of it before facing Rafa and I very much want Rafa to put him away. Again.

Which team are you looking forward to visiting away from home and why?

Bournemouth because it’s a place my Dad lived when I was a kid and me and my brother used to visit him from about the age of 6 to 12. I also went to the old Dean Court in 1989 to see us lose 2-1 to 2 Paul Moulden goals after a 13 hourcoach journey. I’m looking forward to getting a bit nostalgic, enjoying the pubs in the way my Dad did when he dragged us round them and exorcising the demon that is that horifficday in 1989!

Which player will be crucial for us this season?

Shelvey. He is our classiest player and everything goes through him. Opposition teams fear him and if he keeps his head he could go on to fulfil his undoubted potential. I feel he’ll feel he has a point to prove. This is his chance.

Which player can you see failing to perform this year?

Tough question as any answer could come across as pessimistic whereas the reality is I’m feeling very optimistic! If he’s given the opportunity then it’ll probably be Mitro as the adulation he receives is out of sync with what he has actually done. Additionally, whilst there might be talent there, his temperament is incredibly suspect.

Will Rafa Benitez be here at the end of the season?

Aye……………(pleeeeeeeease).

Who will win the league?

I have a feeling Liverpool will as they’ve bought well and Klopp’s philosophy is starting to embed itself at the club. 

Who is going down?

I think it’ll be Huddersfield, Brighton and Stoke. The last one is perhaps a bit of a surprise but I think Hughes is a busted flush as a manager and I look at their squad and some of their performances last season and I just think that this might be it. Huddersfield’s form toward the end of the season wasn’t great and they scraped up through the play-offs somehow. I think they’ll struggle. As for Brighton, I think Hughton will revert back to type in the Prem and play to defensively, i.e. try not to lose as opposed to trying to win, and it’ll backfire.

Norman Riley @likethegoat

 

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